Monday, February 21, 2011

Bald Eagle having a snack

February 5, 2011
I was bound and bent that I was going out on this day. When I woke up in the morning, the temperature was -18 Celsius with a windchill of -25. I waited a couple of hours - got up to -15 so I decided that I just had to go - it wasn't going to improve! I bundled myself up, got on the bike and went for a ride. Am I ever glad I did!
As I was walking the bike through one section that it is impossible to ride on, I looked down at the river and saw something.....

yep, the juvenile bald eagle eating something on the ice. I retreated to get my gear ready and slow myself down. He initially flew away when I approached,

Then I guess he decided I was no threat so he came back!

And landed again...

Until he finally decided to leave!

What a great day that was!

I continued on my ride, and then came back to the Forks of the Thames where I saw the ice on the fountain there and thought that was pretty neat,

And the sun was still shining...

Just about to call it a day, then someone had to come around to say Adios!

Various days in February!

I am still trying to catch up to myself here, so I'm going to post a little bit of a hodgepodge to catch up to the really great pictures I can't wait to show off!!
I have still been out pretty much at least once a week. I don't always get a chance to take many shots, but it makes the ones I do get even more enjoyable!
Went out on the 3rd of February - nice and sunny, freshly fallen snow, beautiful!

And Gibbons Park constantly amazes me with it's beauty..

Then, one of my friends and I went for a walk on the 5th. The great thing about this walk was that the week before the weather forecasters had been calling for a BIG blizzard. It was all anyone was talking about. Then, nothing - little bit of snow - maybe 5cm, that's it. So, we go for a walk on a day that there is a 30% chance of a little snow, and this is what happened....

I soooooo love this picture!

It just kept coming and coming!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Gotta Get Outside

Well, everyone thinks I'm a bit of a kook this winter - we've had a REAL winter here in southern Ontario - lots of snow, lots of cold temperatures. I don't care - I've been out for a bike ride at least once a week. The only time I stopped was when we got our first great big wallop of snow at the beginning of the winter, but since then, I've been out!! The city actually plows a portion of the bike path - better than they clean the sidewalks that's for sure! The hard part is getting there, but where there's a will there's a way. I went out on the 10th of January and was rewarded with these shots!

This mallard was flying from one open area of water in Springbank Park to another!

This Muskovey duck arrived here last year with his mate and has been here ever since. I was quite taken with the iridescence of his feathers.

And I came back downtown just in time to see the sunsetting behind the fountain (the sunsets sure are fleeting in the winter!)

And, as usually seems to be the case, just as I realized I was sooooo pooped I didn't know if I could make it back home (those unplowed sections are really tough!) I saw this guy swoop down -

Now, anybody who has watched or photographed these birds at all knows just how shy they are. So, I hid out of his sight and got everything ready, slowly approached and got his, one of my favorite shots!

Happy winter!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

New Years Day 2011. Thaw!!

We just had to go for a bicycle ride today, as the temperature was well above freezing, and, well it just felt soooooo good!!

But is the river going to flood? Looks like it just might. It didn't! It was a good thing we had a thaw, though or it would have flooded in the spring for sure!

Well, maybe it did a little, but it receded and left a bunch of ice in it's wake!!

And the sunset was gorgeous!!

And then there was some sun!!

Nothing beats the sun coming out after you get a bunch of snow. Few things (in my opinion) are as beautiful!

There is sooo much light and amazing opportunities that weren't there before!!

And then it was winter!

And since we actually got snow days off from work, I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate than by getting out there!!

This is the Christmas tree in the Victoria park band shell

Some blowing snow and some columns...

How much snow was there, really you ask?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Some more birds

During the fall, I had a great time with birds. I was very fortunate to have captured this shot - my all time (so far) proudest accomplishment. Thank you so much, Mr. Eagle for letting me get so close to you!

I saw this bird because I heard it singing and the sound was so unusual - a kingfisher!!

This little cutie was in almost the same spot as the kingfisher An American Kestrel aka Sparrow Hawk...

And in the same spot again, a shy red tailed hawk..

And last but definitely not least, you just gotta love the friendly little chickadee!!